2021 Community News


• United Church of Christ Resolution 2021 with Resources
• Resolutions in Three Episcopal Diocesan Conventions
• Confronting Christian Zionism – Alliance of Baptists Statement
• Stop Ethnic Cleansing in Jerusalem
• The Jerusalem Declaration on Antisemitism
• Pillsbury Boycott Actions

United Church of Christ Adopts Bold Resolution Naming Israeli Oppression as “Apartheid” and “Sin”

This action by the UCC set a new standard for the church movement for Palestinian rights. By speaking the truth of Israel’s actions without qualification and declaring without reservation the duty of the church to respond accordingly, the denomination has challenged not only its own members but churches in the United States and the world at large to do the same.
Read more, get the resolution, see news coverage, thanks and endorsements, and more:
See them on Palestine Portal

Words to Action: UCC’s Comprehensive Guide for the Declaration for a Just Peace

UCC Palestine Israel Network (UCC PIN), which successfully led the effort for this Declaration to be adopted,  has now provided a comprehensive set of learning materials, available to congregations and organizations from all denominations.
Check out this interactive presentation and see the entire resource collection at their website.
The UCC declaration and accompanying materials represent the culmination of decades of church activism, clearing the way for the actions that will ultimately change the political wind and bring liberation to both oppressed and oppressor.

Six Resolutions in Three Episcopal Diocesan Conventions

Adapted from a report by EPF PIN: Episcopal Peace Fellowship-Palestine Israel Network

In the fall of 2021, Episcopalians in three dioceses [regional bodies of the Episcopal Church] – Olympia, Vermont and Chicago – adopted strong resolutions in support of Palestinian human rights and condemning Israeli violations of international law and established human rights conventions.

The October convention of the Diocese of Olympia passed two resolutions. The first of these resolved to educate congregations in the diocese “about Israel’s ongoing military occupation of the West Bank and blockade of Gaza and Israel’s separate, inequitable laws and unequal treatment of Palestinians” and further identified the Bishop’s Committee for Justice and Peace in the Holy Land as a resource for this work.

Their second resolution, which will be forwarded to the 2022 General Convention of the Episcopal Church, condemned “the continued occupation, segregation, and oppression of the Palestinian people” and resolved that “the Convention urge the President of the United States and the US Congress to take action to oppose Israeli laws and practices that result in unequal rights for two peoples.”

In early November, the Diocese of Vermont expanded upon its rich history of Palestine advocacy by passing three resolutions. Two of these, “Application of the Leahy Law to Israel” and “Supporting Freedom of Speech and the Right to Boycott,” were passed at Vermont’s 2018 diocesan convention. This year’s convention voted to send these resolutions on to the Episcopal Church’s General Convention. Vermont’s Right to Boycott resolution has served as a model for at least two other dioceses, Chicago and Rochester, which have passed similar resolutions.

The third of the Vermont resolutions, “Recognition of Apartheid in Israel/Palestine,” was a landmark achievement, marking the first time that any entity within the Episcopal Church had named Israeli policy toward Palestinians apartheid. That this resolution passed with a strong majority is a measure of a shifting discourse and increased appreciation of the nature of the Zionist occupation of Palestine.

On November 20th, at the Diocese of Chicago’s Convention, delegates adopted Resolution F184 “Confronting Apartheid“….The diocesan website presents the official text and explanation, with the resolution amended (the final “resolved”) from the floor.

Two “C” resolutions passed at the 2020 diocesan convention have already been forwarded for consideration at 2022 General Convention: Supporting the Right to Boycott and Confronting Christian Zionism.See the EPF PIN Newsletter, Nov. 2021.

Alliance of Baptists Denounce Christian Zionism

In response to the call of Palestinian Christians, the denomination of the Alliance of Baptists issued a strong declaration in 2021, rejecting the unjust theology known as Christian Zionism.  Their statement concludes:
“In response to these calls from Kairos Palestine, we – the Alliance of Baptists – rise up and speak out.
In light of these renewed appeals, we – the Alliance of Baptists – denounce Christian Zionism as
theologically corrupt and politically abusive.
Today, we – the Alliance of Baptists, our congregations and our individual members – commit to education on the dangers of Christian Zionism. We commit to challenge this theology, as a particularly pervasive manifestation of a death-dealing theology and instead we commit anew today to a theology of liberation, love and justice for all people. We commit to challenge U.S. public policy that is grounded in Christian Zionism and instead will promote U.S. public policy grounded in the true gospel of liberation that ends the occupation and builds a just society for both Israelis and Palestinians.
See the full statement on Palestine Portal

Stop the Ethnic Cleansing of Jerusalem

#SaveJerusalem  #SaveSheikhJarrah
The Israeli government made plans  to significantly expand the ethnic cleansing of Jerusalem beginnin in May 2021, with expulsions and home demolitions that would  target  thousands of Palestinian residents in Sheikh Jarrah, Silwan, and other historically Palestinian neighborhoods in occupied East Jerusalem.

The “Judaization” of East Jerusalem has been in progress  since the military conquest of the West Bank by Israel in June 1967. It has included the incremental confiscation of non-Jewish property within the Old City Walls and the ethnic cleansing of Palestinian neighborhoods to the north, east and west of the Old City. The goal is not only to make Jerusalem into an entirely Jewish city, but also to encircle it with a ring of Jewish settlements, effectively cutting it off from the rest of the West Bank and preventing the establishment of a Palestinian capital in East Jerusalem.

Read more on Palestine Portal: the Kairos Palestine appeal to Pope Francis and the global church community, 14 Palestinian organizations appeal to the UN, the appeal to the ICC Prosecutor,  the letter from (now) 13 Christian organizations and churches to U.S. Secretary of State Blinken, plus News & Commentary, and links to actions that you can take.

The Jerusalem Declaration on Antisemitism

In March 2021, The Jerusalem Declaration on Antisemitism was presented by 200 scholars as a tool to meet the challenge of fighting antisemitism while protecting free speech. In sharp contrast to the highly controversial IHRA definition of antisemitism that some are attempting to codify into law across the US and Europe, The Jerusalem Declaration rejects identifying BDS actions or antizionism as antisemitic in themselves. Welcome as those distinctions are, some see problems in this latest installment of the ongoing global debate.   See the Preamble and the full Declaration at its website  See initial responses from Jewish Voice for Peace and the Palestinian National Boycott Committee (BNC)  Read reports and diverse commentary in The Forward, Palestine Chronicle, JPost, Mondoweiss, and Jewish Currents
Related News: 40+ Jewish Organizations Worldwide Reject the IHRA Definition

No Dough for Occupation: #Boycott Pillsbury
Faith-based and civil society activists continue to expand the Pillsbury boycott

November 2021
Wake the Sleeping Giant: Become a Pillsbury-Free Church
by Catherine Alder
Ainsworth United Church of Christ of Portland, Oregon has pledged to be a Pillsbury-Free- Church in support of Palestinian human rights. We hope our action will be a spark to awaken more sleeping local churches across the nation and our government.
See the article in Mondoweiss

Sept 2021
It’s Time for General Mills to Quit the Settlements
by Noam Perry
See the report from AFSC in Electronic Intifada, including the rally at General Mills headquarters